Illini WR Mike Dudek: rare bright spot in lost season

Mike Dudek Catch

Champaign, IL- While your statistics professor might give you a decent argument disputing it, Saturday’s loss to Iowa effectively ended the season for the Fighting Illini. Sitting at 4-5, Tim Beckman’s squad needed to win two games to gain bowl eligibility; the team’s primary goal for the 2014 season.

For three quarters, it looked like the Illini might actually notch number five, but the fourth quickly reminded the 50,373 frozen fans (and the thousands of fraternity and sorority members choosing to watch the game at Joe’s and Red Lion instead) that both wins and bowl games in the Tim Beckman era of Illinois Football are not easy to come by.

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A’s pitching Prospect Ian Krol develops at home

ian-krol

It’s pretty rare for a minor league pitcher to develop and perfect his craft, just a short drive from where they grew up. Kane County Cougars hurler Ian Krol, the 16th ranked prospect in the Oakland Athletics system is one of those rare cases. He has the advantage of numerous family and friends supporting him at his games.

The Naperville, IL native grew up going to Cougars games and even got to throw out the first ball at a game for a 9th birthday present.

He was a 7th round draft choice, but should have been taken much much higher. His draft stock fell because he got caught in violation of some bulls** alcohol policy Neuqua Valley high school has (he was never legally charged with anything in relation to the incident) and the school board arbitrarily suspended him for senior year. Having a “legal issue” on his “permanent record” temporarily hurt his career.

By Paul M. Banks
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